Chippenham’s Waitrose donate to help feed those in need

This Is Wiltshire: Melissa Hunt from Waitrose presents the cheque to Lions Tony Shepherd and Ian Gilbert Melissa Hunt from Waitrose presents the cheque to Lions Tony Shepherd and Ian Gilbert

Chippenham’s Waitrose store has donated £1,500 to two charities who provide Christmas meals to people in difficult circumstances.

The store, in Borough Parade, last week handed out £750 to the Chippenham Lions, whose volunteers distribute meals to people on Christmas Day.

Lions member Martin Horton said this year around ten members of the club would go out to befriend those who might not have anyone to celebrate with.

Planning for the Christmas meals distribution starts around October, with names and addresses provided by social services and by word of mouth.

Mr Horton said: “We were extremely grateful to them for the money that otherwise would have come from our own funds. That gives us £750 more for doing other things.

“We have done it way back through the history of the Lions. Meals are prepared beforehand and various members who are on hand on the day will warm them up and take them out.

“The recipients are certainly very grateful to have them. They like to chat and sometimes it’s difficult to get away to the next one. On a personal level it’s a great experience to have done something like that.”

Waitrose also donated £750 to the Chippenham charity Doorway, which runs a drop-in centre for the homeless at the Salvation Army Hall in Foghamshire.

The money will be split into two, with £150 paying for a two-course Christmas meal today for drop-in visitors and the rest going to frontline services.

Around 50 guests are expected for the meal, to be cooked and served by 20 volunteers, and guests will also receive chocolates donated by local organisations.

Lisa Lewis, Doorway’s chief executive, said: “It will help us carry on because Christmas is the worst time of year for people coming through our doors.

“You have the fact that people have to buy presents for children when they are already strapped for cash and you have people who have their children taken away from them.

“It really us the worst time of the year, emotionally it’s quite harrowing for the staff and the guests. We do what we can.”


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